With more snow predicted on both days and temperatures expected to plummet below 10 degrees on the second day of the meet, Georgia’s track and field teams will join a number of other ranked squads in Lexington, Kentucky, at the annual McCravy Memorial on Friday and Saturday.
Meet #3 Starts . . . The Bulldogs’ third official meet of the year starts with the men’s heptathlon (60-meter dash) at 10 a.m. (first four events will be completed on day one) on Friday morning. The women’s pentathlon, starting with the 60 hurdles, cranks up 10 minutes later at 10:10 a.m. and will end later that day with the 800. Georgia will open their multi-event competitors on January 29-30.
The open events, starting with the men’s weight throw and women’s long jump, are scheduled to begin in the Nutter Field House at 3 p.m. on Friday.
On Saturday, the meet will be broadcast on SEC Network+ on WatchESPN from 12 p.m. until the conclusion of the meet.
“These first few meets are the perfect situation for us to get acclimated into the indoor season,” said Bulldog first-year head coach Petros Kyprianou. “We train on an outdoor track and compete on an indoor track so every week we anticipate getting better and better. This week is going to serve as a platform for us to compete in our specific individual events and hopefully get some performances that will get us to the NCAA Championships.”
Kyprianou is keying on this weekend’s meet and next weekend’s action at the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., which is the site of the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships, as a springboard for his teams as they approach the postseason.
“This weekend and next weekend should serve as the opportunity to get our top people on the top 16 list nationally which would set them up for qualifying for Nationals,” Kyprianou said. “There will be a little better competition that should challenge them a bit and get them some quality reps.”
Where The Bulldogs Rank: The Georgia women are ranked second in the preseason U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national poll. The Bulldog men are ranked sixth nationally going into the meet. Both of these rankings match the teams’ top final NCAA indoor finishes in history.
Who Is Representing The Red And Black: The following Lady Bulldogs are traveling: graduate student Xenia Rahn, seniors Chanice Porter, Ashley Henry, Brooke Koblitz, Shelby Ashe, juniors Kendell Williams, Leontia Kallenou, Georgia Stefanidi, Tatiana Gusin, Freya Jones, Morgan Green, sophomores Keturah Orji, Mady Fagan, Devon Artis, Katie Stone, Natalie Bordes, Aliyah Johnson, Emily Savage, Asianna Covington and freshman Kayla Smith.
The following Georgia men will be joining them on Kentucky’s campus: seniors Jamario Calhoun, Ayrian Evans, Christian Harrison, Kisean Smith, Garrett Scantling, Maicel Uibo, Ashinia Miller, Zack Sims, Steven Spevacek, Jimmy Hicks, juniors Maurice Freeman, Reggie Glover, Devon Williams, Alex Poursanidis, Sid Vaughn, sophomores Raytez Jenkins, Bryan Kamau, Karl Saluri, freshmen Jeramey Hampton and Denzel Comenentia.
Bulldog Indoor Debuts: Jones, who is a three-time First Team All-American outdoors in the javelin and the 2013 NCAA champion in her featured event, will compete indoors for the first time. She will give it a go in the shot put. For the men, Comenentia will compete in the first meet of his collegiate career after arriving to UGA in January. The thrower from the Netherlands has experience in the shot, hammer and discus.
Who Will The Comp Be: The McCravy Memorial will feature 10 top-25 teams (four men, six women) and Kentucky, Florida and Missouri will be joining Georgia from the SEC.
Last Year At McCravy: Last year, the Bulldogs also began the season at a meet in the CrossPlex facility in Birmingham and traveled to Lexington the next weekend. If Georgia track and field was not on the 2015 national radar before last year’s McCravy meet, the Bulldogs were definitely blinking on it following the competition.
“In 2015, we had some amazing performances at this meet,” said Kyprianou. “From Keturah Orji’s American Junior record in the triple jump, to our combined-event folks putting up some of the top marks in the country, to our three girls going over 6 feet in the high jump, to Ashinia Miller in the shot put taking over the national lead and the list goes on. Traditionally, this is where our team officially kicks off and feels like they are indoor now, this is our sport for the next two months and they start to get after it.”
Here is a glimpse at the Georgia highlights from last year’s McCravy meet:
Orji set American Junior and school records in the women’s triple jump during her collegiate debut in the event with a mark of 45 feet, 10 1Ž2 inches.
In the multi-events, Kendell Williams scored what was the second-best collegiate pentathlon score of all-time (4,609, which trailed only her 2014 collegiate/World Junior record of 4,635 at the time; then slipped to No. 3 on the collegiate all-time list after Williams’ set a new collegiate record of 4,678 at last year’s NCAAs). Graduated senior Quintunya Chapman was second at last year’s SECs with 4,257 points.
During the heptathlon on the men’s side, Scantling set a facility record of 5,886 points as the Bulldogs also finished second and third with Uibo (5,847) and Devon Williams (5,538) coming through with solid efforts.
Miller opened his junior year by setting the school record in the men’s shot put after watching one of his attempts travel 66-7.75. Graduated senior teammate Nick Vena reached 64-5.25 for fifth place.
Gusin won the women’s high jump, reaching 6 feet, while Kallenou earned runner-up honors matching Gusin’s clearance.
Ashe launched the Lady Bulldogs’ fourth-best effort in history in the weight (66-1.50) to finish fifth.
The Bulldog distance medley relay team crossed the finish line with the school’s third-fastest time in history (9:51.85) for sixth place (this time was later bumped to fourth by their SEC performance weeks later).
Graduated senior Brandon Lord shattered the school’s 3000-meter run record to finish fourth with a 7:56.50.
Graduated senior Charles Grethen clocked UGA’s fifth-best indoor men’s 800 time in history (1:48.96) to take fourth.
Georgia’s last trip to Lexington actually came at the 2015 SEC Indoor Championships. The women were sixth and the men were eighth thanks to SEC individual crowns from Kallenou (high jump), Orji (triple jump) and Kendell Williams (pentathlon) for the Georgia women and Scantling (heptathlon) on the men’s side.
Other highlights from the SEC meet included:
Uibo (5,909) and Devon Williams (5,601) also finishing second and third, respectively, behind Scantling in the heptathlon.
Chapman, still relatively new to the multi-events, managing a third-place finish in the pentathlon.
Gusin clearing 6-1.50 (No. 5 in school history) to earn runner-up honors in the high jump.
Orji finishing third in her first conference long jump competition with a top effort of 21-1.25, scoring a total of 16 points at the meet.
Miller having his second consecutive big meet in Lexington with a shot put toss of 63-6 for second-place honors.
Poursanidis coming through with the ninth-longest weight throw (68-6.50) on Georgia’s all-time top-10 list to finish fourth as a sophomore.
The Bulldog DMR team returned to the track after a successful McCravy outing to take over the No. 3 spot on the school’s all-time top-10 list with a 9:48.48 for seventh place.
Where To Find Results, News: Live stats and full results from the McCravy Memorial will be posted at georgiadogs.com.
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